Researchers have developed a new scale for determining if someone is a serious shopaholic โ€” a condition that can lead to family conflicts, financial problems, and depression. Previous methods of measuring compulsive shopping tended to focus on financial distress, something that compulsive shoppers with higher incomes may not experience. The newest scale shows that compulsive consumption is linked with materialism, positive feeling about buying things, and a tendency to hide or return purchases. Researchers who developed the new scale hope that it will show others that there is a need to reduce compulsive buying and materialism and educate people about the side-effects of overspending. Maybe they can have a word with the Bush Administration? [Science Daily]